Monday DAC Email for Monday, December 7, 2020

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Monday DAC


December 7, 2020

Question of the Week

Q: Will the 2020-2021 ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for English Language Learners window be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: The Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) is currently working with the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) on details to postpone the English Language Proficiency (ELP) exam, ACCESS/Alternate ACCESS, for English Language Learners (ELLs). With so many unknowns on the return of students to in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 ACCESS/Alternate ACCESS for ELLs window will be postponed. Delaying the opening of the test window will allow districts more instructional time with students and to prepare for administration of the assessment in an in-person setting. There are no remote administrations of the ACCESS/Alternate ACCESS assessments. More details on the ACCESS/Alternate ACCESS test administration window, training and guidance will be shared with District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) in future communications.

Long-Term Goals for English Learners (ELs)

The long-term goals as required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)  were set in 2019 and have been included in Kentucky’s Consolidated State Plan.

The goals for English Learners (EL) were based on students being on track to English language proficiency. Goals provide concrete, measurable indicators of aspirations and benchmarks against which to measure progress. The goals are based on improvement of performance for a class of students starting in kindergarten for the first year of the plan and graduating in the year 2030 to set the baseline, but kindergarten students are not in the calculation. Since schools/districts had never seen the individual student goals for ELs, the 2019 value was based on 100-day students for grades 1-12 that had reached attainment on ACCESS for ELLs of an overall composite of 4.5 to create reasonable goals to 2030 at that time. For 2020, the students that were assessed in 2019 now had five-year goals to reach attainment so the 2020 data is based on a student meeting that individual target or reaching attainment that did not have a goal line (example-a first year student). Specific goals are set for each student group based on where it starts and the desired outcome. The long term goals for schools start with the 2019 baseline to the end goal in 2030. The 2019 individual student goals can be found in the Student Listing spreadsheets that were given to districts under the KDE secure web application during fall reporting for ACCESS for ELLs.

The school goals are included in the 2020 School Report Card under  Academic Performance, Assessment Results, Progress Toward State Goals along with the 2020 actual performance. Any questions about ACCESS for ELLS and associated longterm goals can be directed to Chris Williams in the Division of Assessment and Accountability Support at 502-564-4394.

OAA/ACT Office Hours – Dec. 10 - Reminder

The Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) and ACT are partnering to offer DACs and testing staff open office hours. DACs, BACs, and TCs will be able to ask questions and receive assistance during this time. The next office hour will be Thursday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. ET. A regular Microsoft Teams Meeting will be the platform for the meeting. To join the meeting, please save this Teams Meeting invitation. Please contact Shara Savage with any questions.

Site Readiness for ACT Online Testing Option

For schools or districts planning to administer the ACT online, it is time to begin preparing the online site readiness activities. The deadline to complete the site readiness process is Jan. 22, 2021.

In an effort to simplify the online testing process, proctor caching is no longer a requirement for administering the ACT online for most districts; however, a systems check is recommended to determine if proctor caching should be set up. To determine if proctor caching is needed at the school/district, a mock administration should be run to evaluate system requirements and performance.

As a first step, it is necessary for District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) to appoint a Technical Coordinator and create a user account for him/her in PearsonAccessnext. Directions for creating a user account can be found in the PearsonAccessnext User Guide. The Technical Coordinator should run through all activities outlined in the Technical Guide, Technical Coordinator Checklist and Mock Administration Guide. Complete this activity now to ensure a successful online administration.

If at any point the Technical Coordinator doubts that online testing can be accomplished, the Technical Coordinator should advise the Test Coordinator to switch to the paper administration prior to Jan. 22, 2021, to ensure receipt of materials. ACT will not switch the administration to paper.

ACT: Request Accommodations and Supports

As a reminder, the ACT’s Test Accessibility and Accommodations (TAA) system has migrated to Please ensure testing staff has access to the TAA system on the new website. If the testing staff has not yet requested accommodations and supports, ACT and KDE highly recommend that this activity be completed as soon as possible.

The published deadline to request accommodations and supports for the upcoming ACT Spring 2021 State administration is Jan. 15, 2021; however, ACT’s review and approval process typically takes multiple business days. Work to complete this activity now to ensure testing staff has the opportunity to provide any additional information ACT may require for approval. Ideally, to guarantee this process is complete by the deadline and students receive a college reportable score, testing staff should complete this critical task by Dec. 18. Please share this information with school testing staff to ensure they are aware of the process for requesting accommodations and supports.

Resources to assist in requesting accommodations and support: Information about requesting accommodations and/or EL supports, How to create an account and request accommodations through TAA (training tutorial), and On-demand accommodations training. Additional resources can be found under stage 3 of the ACT hosted state testing website.

EOC Exam Testing Window 1 Ends and Shipping Deadline Approaches

The first End-of-Course (EOC) testing window will end on Friday, Dec. 11. No exams may be administered after Dec. 11 without prior approval by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

The return EOC Exam shipping deadline is Thursday, Dec. 17. The DAC or designee should return the testing materials on or before the established return deadline. All secure testing booklets must be returned to KDE to the following address:

ATTN# Shara Savage

Kentucky Department of Education

300 Sower Blvd.

Frankfort, KY 40601

Districts/schools are responsible for paying the return postage. Districts/schools can choose their return shipping method, but the shipping provider must enable tracking and provide a tracking number.

The Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) will process answer documents once the testing window has closed. Please allow 6 weeks for processing.

DACs will receive:

  • A summary report of all tested students and their scores by content area at the completion of scoring for each testing window
  • Individual student score reports with the name of the student and the scale score listed

KDE will continue to use the established EOC cut scores

Please contact Shara Savage with any questions or concerns.

Kentucky Alternate Assessment – Career Readiness Updates

ESAR and CWEC Trainings/Quizzes Open

The Employability Skills Attainment Record (ESAR) and Career Work Experience Certification (CWEC) career readiness trainings and quizzes opened in November. Districts and schools should continue to maintain supporting evidence for ESAR and CWEC in the Career Ready Alternate Assessment Folder (CRAAF). Refer to the Working with Exceptional Children in CTE web page on the KDE website for additional resources, including ESAR and CWEC Administration Guides and District CWEC Checklist. Please visit the Kentucky Alternate Assessment Program (KAAP) website for access to trainings and quizzes. The Career Readiness Database (CRD) is scheduled to officially open Feb. 15, 2021. The CRD is used for score entry for the ESAR and status of completion or attainment entry for the CWEC.

New – WBL Guidance for CWEC During COVID

The Work-based Learning (WBL) Guidance for Career Work Experience Certification (CWEC) is now available on the Working with Exceptional Children in CTE web page on the KDE website. This document contains guidelines for WBL regarding the four courses leading to the CWEC, if face-to-face instruction cannot be implemented due to COVID-19.

For any questions regarding the Career Readiness opportunities for alternate assessment students please contact Kiley Whitaker or Sherri Craig in the Office of Career and Technical Education.

Alternate Assessment Students Marked Blind/Visually Impaired (VI) On Individualized Education Program (IEP): Deadline Friday

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will provide tactically-enhanced supplemental materials (e.g., maps, graphs) for some grades on the Alternate K-PREP Attainment Tasks (AT) to students who have visual impairments. KDE must verify that the student has VI marked on their IEP. If a student qualifies for these materials, please complete the following tasks:

Verify a visual impairment has been clearly marked in the current IEP, and the student is identified as participating in Kentucky’s Alternate Assessment.

Include any alternate assessment students in the district who will qualify for VI services in the 2020-2021 Window 1 VI Listing. Save and submit the spreadsheet as the district name-2020-2021 Window 1 VI Listing. Only one list containing all students who qualify for this accommodation should be provided per district.

All submissions must be made to Kevin O’Hair no later than Friday, Dec. 11 to receive these VI materials for the first Alternate K-PREP Attainment Task window. Districts who submit late information will not receive these materials for Test Window 1 (Feb. 15-Mar. 26). For any additional questions or concerns please contact Kevin O’Hair or by phone at (502) 564-4394


ACCESS for ELLs Reminders

As district begin the ACCESS testing season, World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) knows State Educational Agencies (SEAs), districts and schools are exploring creative solutions to accomplish testing safely this year. With that in mind, WIDA would like to share some testing reminders:

  • Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) Customer Service is available to assist educators with questions on the following topics from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday:
    • Technology Setup and Troubleshooting
    • Materials Orders and Returns
    • Student and Test Session Management

DRC can be reached at or by phone at (855) 787-9615.

  • LEAs may need additional staff this year to support testing. Staff who will handle test materials or be present during testing must agree to the WIDA Non-Disclosure and User Agreement (NDUA), either through their Secure Portal account upon first login, or by signing a provided printed copy. Please note: these signed copies of the NDUA should be kept locally, according to local or state policy.
  • Test Coordinators seeking guidance on scheduling their test sessions are encouraged to review the Test Scheduling tutorials, located in the ACCESS for ELLs Online Grades 1-12 and/or the ACCESS for ELLs Paper Grades 1-12 training courses, as well as the District and School Test Coordinator Manual.


Randy McCallan Trigg County Schools

DAC Spotlight

Randy McCallan 
Trigg County Schools

Trigg County School District is located in far western Kentucky with a sizable portion of the county being the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area and the home of Lake Barkley State Resort Park. Trigg County Primary (K-2), Trigg County Intermediate (3-5), Trigg County Middle (6-8), and Trigg County High (9-12) serve approximately 1,900 students in the district.   

With a one-to-one Chromebook initiative and nontraditional instruction in place from a few years back, students at Trigg County Schools were well-equipped to transition to virtual learning once an online learning platform was introduced and integrated into the academic program. This year, students and teachers have worked cooperatively to successfully utilize in-person instruction as well as incorporate relevant learning and activities in the virtual setting at home. The community has certainly supported the school district efforts by volunteering to read and interact with students during Community Reader Day. The local radio station completed a day of fundraising for the school district to assist in offsetting lost revenue that has occurred from event cancelations and are a real partner in providing information to the public. Additionally, the local newspaper values the students, staff and local board of education through coverage of school and district related news.  

Trigg County Schools embraces a culture of continuous improvement and is promoting a rebranding centered on the acronym CATS-Creating Attitudes Toward Success. A core value focused on attitudes fits well in a community where hard work, great relationships and support of each other are all common characteristics of the town of Cadiz and the Trigg County area. Although there is work to be accomplished, Trigg County Schools is committed to assuring students are presented with opportunities to be successful while placing emphasis on the path and approach to take in order to attain that success. 

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in the Article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). 

Assessment Calendar

In This Issue

ACCESS for ELLs Reminders

ACT: Request Accommodations and Supports

Alternate Assessment Students VI On IEP: Deadline Friday

EOC Exam Testing Window 1 Ends and Shipping Deadline Approaches

Kentucky Alternate Assessment – Career Readiness Updates

OAA/ACT Office Hours – Dec. 10

Site Readiness for ACT Online Testing Option

Important Dates

Nov. 2-Dec. 11:
Alternate K-PREP Window 1 VI List Deadline

Nov. 30 - Dec. 11:
EOC Exam - Test Window 1

Dec. 10:
Monthly DAC Webcast

Dec. 10:
OAA/ACT Office Hours

Dec. 17:
EOC Exam Return Shipping Deadline

Dec. 24-25:
State Government Offices Closed for Christmas Holidays

Dec. 28:
No DAC Monday Email

Dec. 31-Jan.1:
State Government Offices Closed for New Year’s Holidays

Previous Topics

2020-2021 EOC Exams for Early Graduation Pathway

December ACCESS for ELLs Q&A Webinars

Kentucky Alternate Assessment Resource Guide for Attainment Tasks

New Allow List URLs for ACCESS for ELLs Online and WIDA Screener Online

OAA/ACT Office Hours – Dec. 10


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Office of Assessment and Accountability

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(502) 564-4394

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